Anabandana Is In The House

Last season’s champion 2 yr old, Cambridge filly  Anabandana served notice to her rivals last Saturday.
The brilliant dual Group One filly, blew her rivals off the track when making a triumphant return at Hastings.
In her first start since winning the Manawatu Sires Produce in April, Anabandana was simply in another class as she demolished her opposition in the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes.
Trainer Don Sellwood was at pains to inform the racing public prior to the race that Anabandana was “vulnerable”.
“She’s not completely wound up for this, we’ve got a big campaign ahead of us, and we have to start somewhere” Sellwood said.
Parade ring observers noticed how Anabandana’s coat hadn’t lost it’s winter’s coat, which seemed to back up her trainer’s thoughts.
In the final analysis though, it didn’t matter.
In the words of the second best commentator in the country, Anabandana was simply ” waaay toooo goooood”.
Jumping well from an outside draw, Anabandana was allowed to stride forward by rider Opie Bosson.
“I hadn’t planned on being in front but she got there easily and I was quite content to stay there” said Bosson.
Approaching the home turn, Anabandana was cruising.
“She was actually wanting to take off coming to the turn, but I had to hold her back” said Bosson.
Anabandana quickly put the issue beyond doubt winning by a flattering one and three quarter lengths from Testa Secret and another local filly Prestigious Miss.
Owner Chris Grace was shaking his head in disbelief after the winning performance.
“We knew she was under done for this, and that she would improve with the effort, but that was just outstanding” said Grace.
Judging by that performance, it would take an extraordinary effort to threaten Anabandana’s superiority this season.
She just maybe  simply too good for her rival three year olds.
Congratulations to the other local Hastings winners.
Royal Queen scored again for Jim Campin, Lady Kipling did the job for Murray Baker and Phar Cry, aided by a brilliant ride by Maia Vance grabbed the spoils for trainer Lorraine Sullivan.
All three were desrving winners and all look to be in for a profitable spring. 
Murray Baker had another wonderful trans tasman weekend.
Last season’s VRC Derby winner Lion Tamer served notice on his Spring Carnival aspirations when scoring a brilliant win in the Underwood Stakes at  Caulfield.
The victory was Baker’s 22nd at the elite level, and it propelled Lion Tamer to the head of the betting market for the Melbourne Cup.
Lion Tamer had resumed racing with a close up fourth placing behind Mufhasa in the Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings three weeks ago.
“He’s doing really well, and it’s nice to see him heading in the right direction” said Baker.
Owned by his breeder Phil Bayley, Lion Tamer outfinished his rivals in a powerful home stretch drive.
The win took his stake earnings to $1.3m.
Less than 24 hours later,Baker was on hand to watch Mr Tipsy score a brilliant fresh up win in the Listed Westbury Stud Classic at Pukekohe.
Ridden by Opie Bosson, the NZ Cup bound stayer, stunned his connections coming from well off the pace to win the 1600m event.
“We thought he’d go a good race fresh up but I didn’t think he would win” said Baker.
Mr Tipsy is raced by Scott Richardson, a long time supporter of the Baker Stable. 
Finally, congratulations to all the winners at the Cambridge Jockey Club’s awards last Monday evening.
A sold out crowd saw Keep The Peace named Horse of The Year, recognition for her two Group One victories last season.
All seven Group One winners from last season were also recognised.
The Alan Bremner Contribution award went to a very surprised long serving CJC staff member Peggy Erickson.
Just as surprised was Gary Alton, who’s wonderful strike rate from last season, earned him Outstanding Achiever of the Year.
Congratulations again to all recipients.
I’ll catch you next week.